Swimming in the Deep End of White Male Privilege: It’s just all for fun!!Posted: February 25, 2013
White men just wanna have fun!!! We saw a the lot of it yesterday! I’m not even sure where to start on the list but the punch line to all of this is that women and black people just don’t seem to have a sense of humor. Otherwise, we’d find all of these jokes supremely kewl.
So, the first example was the outrageously offensive The Onion Tweet last night that rocked the Twitter World. For those of you that lack the satire gene, some one in the staff felt it satirical to call a 9 year old black girl–Quvenzhané Wallis–the “c” word. I don’t know about you, but as a woman, the “c” word is on the level with the “n” word to me. They took the tweet down with in the hour and they’ve finally apologized on their Facebook page. I guess it took them about 8 hours to figure out how to say they were very very very very wrong. Yes, I’m posting the offending Tweet because they took it down and it needs to be seen because THEY OWN IT. I’m offended by the word as any one, but really, it needs to be documented.
On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.
No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.
The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.
Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.
But, really, that was just in keeping of the good ol’ boy spirit of the Oscars set by Seth McFarland. I am not an aficionado of any of his work even though I am a big fan of the cartoon genre. It’s because I don’t like being the butt of nearly every friggin’ joke that isn’t making black people the butt of the joke. If I were a black lesbian I could be offended perpetually by him.
At this point there’s no question that Seth MacFarlane was a terrible Oscar host. Not only were his jokes unfunny, tired, self-centered and boring, but also incredibly sexist, homophobic and racist. Boob jokes. Diet jokes. “No homo” jokes. Rape jokes. Abuse jokes. Slave jokes. Jew jokes. And to add to the atrocity, the whole act was punctuated by MacFarlane’s absurd preoccupation with whether or not he was a good host, which—as mentioned—he clearly was not. So perhaps he was right in asking “what did you expect?”
I’m not putting the video up, you can go watch ’em all. There are so many things wrong with getting the Gay Men’s Chorus to sing a song about “I saw your boobs” and then insisting you’re not a member of the chorus at the end that I don’t know where to start with that either. MacFarlane did not miss the opportunity to mess with Ms. Wallis either. Then, there’s an AP reporter who couldn’t take the time to learn the young girl’s name. Here’s some great analysis from Racialiscious.
First, there was an Associated Press — Associated Press! — reporter on the red carpet before the show allegedly telling Wallis, “I’m gonna call you Annie,” instead of by her given name, for which the reporter was quickly and rightfully corrected. In another bizarre outburst, model Chrissy Teigen saw fit to call her “a brat.”
Then Oscars host Seth McFarlane chose to involve her in a joke about George Clooney’s supposed preference for younger women, saying, “To give you an idea of how young she is, it’ll be about 16 years before she’s too old for Clooney.” Of course, there were more “jokes” where that came from throughout the evening.
And then came The Onion to steal the spotlight from him. Again: This is a nine-year-old girl. And these people think they have license to be “edgy” with her. Forget that it was an awards show.
It’s encouraging to note that not only were progressives and media critics up in arms over The Onion’s colossal misfire, but actors like Wendell Pierce, LeVar Burton and Marlee Matlin also publicly called the site out over it.
This morning we find that New York State Assemblyman Dov Kind celebrated Purim in blackface and found it great fun. I can’t even believe what he would say if some black man had worn the stereotypical Jewish man costume for any celebration, so what’s the deal here? He certainly had issues with Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” so why play stupid with the incredibly demeaning role that whites using “blackface” has played in the culture of our country?
Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind hosted a massive Purim party at his home yesterday that featured over fourteen hours of food and drink and, as is customary on the Jewish holiday, elaborate costumes. Mr. Hikind said a professional makeup artist came to his home to transform him into a “basketball player” with a costume that consisted of an afro wig, sunglasses, an orange jersey and brown face paint.
“I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players. Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player,” Mr. Hikind explained. “It was just a lot of fun. Everybody just had a very, very good time and every year I do something else. … The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”
Hikind is a right wing Democrat and has taken some awful positions including outspoken support of racial profiling by the NYPD. This is what makes the choice of costume even more questionable.
The last few years have been an eye-opening experience for me. Last year, we spent a good deal of time listening to the mansplain about rape and incest in the political realm. Now, we get to see that good ol’ clean humor and fun is all about making women, GLBT, and minorities the butts of jokes. But, let me just ask, how big of an insensitive asshole do you have to be not to realize that a 9 year old girl should be off limits completely? I guess some guys just are not going to get out of the deep end even when they’re drowning.